Guides

Govmomi and listening for vSphere events

Govmomi and listening for vSphere events

For a while, i’ve wanted to get some experience in Go (or Golang, if you prefer), but never found the time. Recently I found the need for something that allows me to capture all the VM events on an ESXi host and handle according to them.

Next to pyVmomi, VMware also has a vSphere SDK for Go, called govmomi, and I thought that this was the perfect moment to dive into Go and get my hands dirty as i already know how to work with the pyVmomi library and the vSphere SDK/API.

Coming from a (basic) Python background and not being a real developer, moving to Go was quite an adjustment and after only one or two days of playing around with it, i still have to learn a lot.

However, i can compare govmomi vs pyVmomi and one thing is immediately clear about Go and govmomi: It is fast… Really fast. What normally would take a couple of seconds in pyVmomi, takes less than a second in govmomi.

To get started with Go, you can visit the Go Tour, it helps a lot to explain the basics of Go and the important aspects. However, as all developers know, the best way to get to know a programming language, is by using it. So let’s dive deeper in how govmomi works.

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Scripting with Nuage VSPK – Part 2 – Advanced concepts & examples

Scripting with Nuage VSPK – Part 2 – Advanced concepts & examples

Last week we introduced the basic installation and usage of the Nuage VSPK using some script examples.

This week we will continue our dive into this subject by introducing some advanced concepts and again we will use some example scripts to explain these concepts in detail:

  • Creating ACLs policies and rules with Jobs
  • Gathering Statistics with Query Parameters
  • Asynchronous calls
  • Push notifications
  • Set Policy Groups on a VM depending on its name in vCenter by combining the Nuage VSPK with the vCenter SDK

Happy reading!

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Scripting with Nuage VSPK – Part 1 – Introduction & basic examples

Scripting with Nuage VSPK – Part 1 – Introduction & basic examples

Today i want to talk about a Nuage VSP feature which allows you to create your own tools to interact with your Nuage VSP environment: The Nuage VSPK. The Nuage VSPK uses the Nuage VSD REST API to do all its actions, so if you are familiar with the REST API, you will quickly grasp the use of the Nuage VSPK.

The Nuage VSPK is available in two flavors: a Python flavor and a Go flavor. This last one was released last week, for now, we will cover the usage of the VSPK using the Python flavor.

I will cover this aspect in multiple parts. This post will cover the installation of the VSPK and its structure, before leading up to the write-up of three scripts that:

  • Show the structure of a particular domain
  • Get an overview of all used Floating IPs
  • Gather the events/logs for a particular enterprise

At the end there will also be some pointers on where to find a full API reference and where to find more examples.

In the next posts you can expect some more complex examples that show you how to listen to VSD events or how to combine the VSPK with VMware vCenter API to implement a dynamic policy group mapping.

This post is a copy of a blog post of mine on the Nuage Community.

Happy reading !

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Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 to 6.0 using CLI

Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 to 6.0 using CLI

In 6.0 the standard installation and upgrade of the vCenter Server Appliance has changed to an ISO which you can mount in Windows. This ISO provides a web interface. This interfaces asks you to install the Client Integration Plugin 6.0, after which you can use the web interface to install or upgrade your vCenter Server Appliance.

Of course, this gives us Unix users another hurdle to overcome with installing the vSphere environment. Also, the Client Integration Plugin has some issues working with the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox. Lastly, hardly anybody likes using a web interface for this kind of installations.

Luckily, VMware has been kind enough to provide us with a CLI installer as well! I’ve seen a couple of blog posts about using the CLI installer to install a new VCSA, but not as much about upgrading an existing VCSA. So i decided to do a little write-up providing some examples.

Overview of the upgrade

The tool will use a json template file containing all the information to perform the upgrade. It uses the information to first deploy a new VCSA VM on a target host. This new VCSA VM is provisioned with a temporary network. It will then migrate all the data from the existing VCSA to the new one. Once this is done, it will shut down the existing VCSA and reconfigure the network on the new VCSA to take all the settings from the old VCSA.

JSON template

Below is an example of a JSON template file that can be used to upgrade a 5.5 VCSA to a 6.0 VCSA. There are more templates inside the ISO (folder vcsa-cli-installer/templates) which you can use, but i’ve noticed some issues with these templates missing important sections.

Of course I kept some values to the default, but i’m sure you can figure out what to change where. There are a couple of important mentions I would like to mention:

  • username and password in your source.vc > vc.vcsa section have to be the SSO administrator user and password (default user = administrator@vsphere.local, default pass = vmware)
  • target.vcsa > appliance > name value is the name the VM will get, this has to be unique in your environment, so it can not be the same as your current VCSA, it has no impact on the hostname
  • target.vcsa > sso > site-name value is just for your SSO, it has to be filled in, but just do something simple (‘First-Default-Site’ should be fine)
  • target.vcsa > temporary.network: This is just temporary for during the upgrade/migration. After the migration, all the network sections are taken from the old VCSA.
  • target.vcsa > esx : This is the info of the ESXi where you want to place the new VCSA VM, can be the same as the source, can be a different one. Just make sure the info is correct (if confused with the POD43 file: my local datastores have been named the same as the ESXi IP, to easily differentiate.)

Running the CLI installer

I will run this installer directly from the ISO mounted on  /mnt/vcsa  on a Linux machine.

I would first suggest to do a dry run, you can do so with the following command:

This command will verify the configuration and all the connectivity. It will return a list of warnings and errors. Some of the more common warnings and errors you might encounter:

  • Warnings about Postgresql password that will be the same as the root password of the new VCSA, this can be safely ignored.
  • Warnings about port 22, this can also be safely ignored, just make sure the old and new VCSA’s can communicate through SSH
  • Errors about SSO and certificates: This will prevent any upgrade, so this is something you will have to look at. Most of the time it’s an indication that your certificates were generated with a different hostname or IP than currently used. You can rectify this by going to the 5.5 VCSA’s administration web interface check that the hostname, IP and DNS settings are all correct and regenerate the certificates if needed (this requires a reboot).

After you fixed any errors, you can run the command without the  --verify-only option:

This will start the upgrade and migration, just follow along with what is happening, you get some good info on the progress. It can take a while to finish (half an hour to an hour, easily. If you have a slow connection between the machine you are running the command and the appliances & esxi’s, it might take longer for the data transfers)

vCenter 5.5 Server Appliance quirks

vCenter 5.5 Server Appliance quirks

Last week I upgraded my whole vSphere 5.1 environment to 5.5 and migrated to the vCenter 5.5 Server Appliance (VSA). Overall, I’m happy with this migration as the appliance gives me everything i need and the new web client works amazingly well, both with Mac OS X and Windows.

But there are a few quirks and small issues with it. Nothing to serious, and as i understand it, the VMware engineers are looking into it, but for those who are experiencing these issues, I wanted to provide a bit of explanation on how to fix them.

Quick stats on hostname is not up to date

20131003_vcenter_quick.stats.error

The first issue I noticed, was a message that kept appearing in the web client when I was looking at the summary of my hosts. At first I thought that there was a DNS or connection issue, but i was capable of managing my hosts, so that was all good.

Starting to investigate the issue on internet, I noticed a few people reporting this issue, and apparently VMware already posted a KB article (KB 2061008) on it.

Let’s go to the simple steps on how to fix this on the VSA:

  1. Make sure SSH is enabled in your VSA admin panel:
    20131003_vsa_ssh
  2. SSH to the VSA with user root and use the root password from the admin panel
  3. Copy the /etc/vmware-vpx/vpxd.cfg file to a save location, you will keep this as a backup
  4. Open the /etc/vmware-vpx/vpxd.cfg file with an editor
  5. Locate the </vpxd> tag
  6. Add the following text above that tag:
  7. It should more or less look like this:
    20131003_vpxd_config
  8. Save the file
  9. Restart your VSA, the easiest way is just to reboot it using the admin panel, or using the reboot command.

If you ever update the VSA, check the release notes, if this bug is fixed, you might want to remove these config values again.

Unable to connect to HTML5 VM Console

After a reboot of my VSA, I was unable to open the HTML5 VM Console from the web client. I got “Could not connect to x.x.x.x:7331”, the service seemed down. VMware is aware of this issue and a KB article (KB 2060604) is available.

The cause of this issue is a missing environment variable (VMWARE_JAVA_HOME). To make VSA aware of this variable, you can follow these steps:

  1. Make sure SSH is enabled in your VSA admin panel (see screenshot in step 1 of the issue above)
  2. SSH to the VSA with user root and the root password from the admin panel
  3. Open the /usr/lib/vmware-vsphere-client/server/wrapper/conf/wrapper.conf file with an editor
  4. Locate the Environment Variables part
  5. Add the following text to the list of environment variables:
  6. It should look more or less like this:
    20131003_vsa_wrapper
  7. Save the file
  8. Restart the vSphere Web client using:

That should fix the issue and the HTML5 VM Console should work fine!